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I Had Children When I Was Two

This post is the last of a series. If the catchy title brought you here today, please follow the link to this post and read forward

Mommy says Don’t play in the corn field, Andra. She says she can’t see me in there. She likes seeing me. Not being able to see me is bad. I don’t like to be bad for Mommy.

But I like to hide. To run with no shoes and dig my feet in the dirt and move in and out of the tall stalkies and lie down between the rows. It’s soft and scoopey. It feels like my bed. My crib bed. Not my big-girl bed. It hurts to roll off my big-girl bed. When I lie on my back in the scoopey dirt, I can see through the stalkies all the way to heaven. I think I came from heaven. I can just barely remember it if I try real hard.

I feel wet on my face. Rain, rain, go away. Come a-gain a-no-ther day. Little Andra wants to play. I know if I sing it loud enough, God will hear me and make it stop raining. That’s what I’ll do on my way out of the stalkies………Rain, rain……….hm hmmhmmm……..hm hm-hmmm hm-hmmm-hmmmm hmm……Mommy? Are you there? The stalkies are bigger than me and they go on-and-on-and-on-and-on-and……..MOMMYMOMMYMOMMYMOMMY! I’M LOST! I’m lost-and-dirty-and-wet-and-it’s muddy-and-I can’t see-anything-and-I’m tired-of-walking.

You don’t have to stay here, Andra. We can find the way out of the corn field.

Who ARE you? No little girls live around here. There’s only Robert across the road, but he’s a boy, and sometimes he’s mean. He taught me to pound my fork on the table and scream, “Where’s my supper?” but Mommy got mad when I did it for her.

I’m Ossie, and this is Palola.

Ooooooooh. You have funny names, too. I LIKE funny names. I have a funny name.

You named us.

I did not. 

Did to.

Did not.

Andra, you did. Don’t you remember? You dreamed up our names just now.

Huh? I’ve never-even-seen you before ever. You’re ugly with your pink hair, and Palola doesn’t even have any hair. You’re both uglies-uglies-uglies. Uglies and you talk funny. Like grown ups. Why do you talk like grown ups?

You decided all that. You made us. 

I DID NOT MAKE YOU! DID NOT DID NOT DID NOT!

Okay, your MIND made us. We’re imaginary.

You’re crazy is what you are! I’m telling my Mommy all about the crazy things you say!……..If I ever see my Mommy again. I think I’m going to be lost in the stalkies FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER.

We can find the way out of the corn field. I already told you that, Andra. Two years old, and already a drama queen.

Am not am not am NOT a drama queen!…………..What’s a drama queen?

It’s somebody with a hyperactive imagination who sometimes overreacts to things.

THAT’S NOT ME! TAKE IT BACK! IT SOUNDS BAD!

Andra, your imagination isn’t bad. It’s what you decide to do with it that can get you into trouble. But you made us. We’re your first creations, your first characters, your first children. By giving us a voice, you made us real.

So, I can make lots of you? As many of you as I want? For all time? Hm-hmmm-hmmmmm-hmm-hmmmm-hmm-hmm.

The rain stopped……there’s Mommy! I can’t wait to tell her that I’m going to make imaginary people real when I grow up. They will be the voices people need to hear, and I will give them life.

They will be my children.

All of them.

Every one.

Zen and the Art of Missing your Train

This doesn’t happen very often…Andra is out before me. Usually, she struggles to get to sleep, reading or writing late into the night. If there is one thing I am good at, it is falling asleep. If I am prone to do it, I can be in Dreamland before you can finish reading th

It seems to be a recurring theme, the leaving. Always running through waystations. All these grand halls sound the same, the staccato of heels echoing off impenetrable surfaces, the cacophonous murmer of unintelligible conversations. Is it that everyone is speaking in foreign tongues? The layering of voices overlap and interweave, the faceless sources unrecognizable yet familiar, like deja vu mind games. 

Moving through these scenes feels like a riding a mobius strip, a perpetual conveyor belt that threads through a labyrinth of concourses and atria. Up escalator becomes moving sidewalk becomes elevator then down escalator. Its like the space is folding upon itself, enveloping me in an origami of reflective terrazzo and glass.

Being caught in this prism multiplies everything I see and hear, making it all very disorienting. Is that my reflection? I look like I am a child again. Trick of the eye, I guess.

The only voices that I seem to understand are always announcing gates, arrivals, departures. And they are paging me. Have I missed my connection? What time is it? Where am I supposed to be? I’ve gotta hurry! It’d be much easier if I wasn’t going the opposite direction of everyone else.  M u s t   m o v e   f a s t e r .

MTM to Platform 4, MTM to Platform 4. Departure in two minutes”

Panic usually tastes of metal, like the fillings in my teeth, but in this place there is no such sensation. Only the echoing, the prisms, the kinetic frenzy. I keep catching my reflection out of the corner of my eye, but when I  turn to look I’m not there. I go around a corner and everyone is gone. It’s quiet. Another corner and suddenly I am back in the stream, but now everyone is going my way. The passage is narrowing and time is short as I try to fight my way to the front. Ahead is Platform 4; I can see it. The announcements continue but I’m not listening, focused on the glass door at the end of the passage.

“Last Call for Platform 4″

Just one more person to get ahead of, a little boy. I squeeze by just as I reach the door. I catch my reflection in the glass as I pass through it; where is the little boy?

The door slams shut. One seat is open. As the vessel lurches forward I slide in next to the girl by the window. “Hello” I say. “Hi” she says. It was a nice moment.

Dear Match.com

Welcome to Match.com! Please complete your profile information below so that we can introduce you to the Man of Your Dreams!

*Sigh*

Name:
Andra Watkins

Code Name:
CPA Lady (I know. Not sexy. Possibly male repellent.)

Address:
525 Hidden Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464 (1)

Email:
andracpa@aol.com (2)

Picture:
Uh-uh. No way. This town is too small for a photo. I am mortified that I am on this Site of the Desperate to Date in the first place. I’ve already identified about fifty people I know from their photos, which means they will know me, which further underscores my state of mortification.

Reason You’re Here:
I just got dumped after an almost four year relationship that I thought would culminate in marriage, babies and unending bliss. (Don’t print that.) I’m 32 but keep getting asked out by college students. While that’s flattering, because they’re college students (did I mention I’m 32?), going out with one of them didn’t work so well for me. We didn’t have that much to talk about, and I wasn’t into the beer bong. My other attempts at dating age-appropriate men were failures (guy who dropped out of seminary because he liked sex with men, because, really, I’m NOT a secret man; guy who insisted that we had to stop at his place because he ‘forgot something,’ only to come out in his underwear and insist we stay there – EWWWWW; and guy who was Swiss-Italian – exotic, THE ACCENT – but, at nine years younger than me and only here a year, not in the market for anything serious. It was fun, though.) I guess you’re going to make me admit I’m seeking something serious. With a man. Who likes women.

Age:
I already told you I am 32 and single. Must you keep making me repeat it?

Weight:
Seriously? Not overweight. How’s that?

Height:
5′ 7″

Education:
What does this question mean, exactly?
I went to college. I graduated. I have letters behind my name. None of this seems to impress men.

Religion:
Good grief.
I am Baptist. I respect just about any viewpoint, because arguing over faith issues is a waste of time. Nobody can prove what they believe is correct, because it is a faith issue, so I prefer to be respectful of different points of view. Does anyone on Earth see things that way anymore? Maybe just one guy? Who’s single and likes women? Answering this question is making my head hurt.

Children:
I have to decide how I feel about that right now? Okay. Let me back up. Perhaps, you’re asking whether I have any. NO. If I’m supposed to reveal whether I am a suitable mother for a potential mate’s babies, how am I supposed to know? I’ll just say that I think, for me, parenthood is a decision that should come from a void, a yearning to know a person that only I can create with someone I love and respect. I don’t feel that yearning to know this non-existent person today, but maybe I will someday. It’s hard to think about all that when I can’t even find an age-appropriate guy who’s gainfully employed, not abusive or controlling or a jerk, who likes women. Can we move on?

Profession:
Well, this one ought to make men FLOCK to my profile. I’m a CPA who runs a law firm. I tell lawyers what to do, every day, all day long. Translated: I am a ball-buster. According to the attorneys. They only put up with me because they make more money when they do what I tell them to do. (Do we really have to include this part? Can I just say I have a job? No? *Sigh*)

Interests:
I like theater, reading, travel, shoes, playing piano, singing, acting, writing in my journal, hanging out with my friends and taking baths. And yes, I realize this will match me with gay men, so let me also say – emphatically – that I like to have sex with men who like to have sex with women. Just in case your algorithms get confused.

Match.com is tabulating your information………………..We can’t WAIT to reveal your perfect Match!…………………

And, here he is, your PERFECT LOVE CONNECTION……………………

SERIOUSLY? This is my perfect match? The guy who came out in his underwear on a date with me?

$%^&*#$%@#^&%$#@#%&%$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DELETE ACCOUNT.

(1) I no longer live at this address. Please do not put the people who now live there on junk mail lists and waste trees, paper and fossil fuel.
(2) Account no longer exists.

This post is part of a series. If the catchy title brought you here today, please follow the link to this post and read forward. And, stick around. There’s more to come.

A Shotgun Wedding

It had to be the appearance of the gun that sent her to the divorce attorney, because, let’s face it, guns were never her kind of thing. Even though he waved it in her face, pointed it at her, touched the muzzle to her chest, and threatened to shoot himself with it, too, she survived that night.

It’s just as likely he killed her anyway.

How does one ever recover from knowing she could’ve died? From seeing fleeting television images of those scary crimes of passion, the ones where multiple black body bags are carried from some bland ranch structure or ritzy mansion while the reporter drones on in the foreground, wondering how it all happened, pointing the camera in stricken faces and asking the extended family how they feel? She knew how it happened, in a freak series of rash actions and shouted words that culminated in something final.

For a while, she forgot to feel anything.

Marriage was supposed to be…..what exactly? The ultimate state of bliss? The natural order of things? The rest of one’s life with a good, caring person? The best path to have children? The thing she was expected to do next? She was still too young to really define it for herself, but her little-girl fantasies and teenage dreams never included hell on earth.

Hell wasn’t what graced her eyes the first time she saw him. The One. He was everything – EVERYTHING – she had been trained to seek in a mate. She still had her list, the one she made when she was sixteen or seventeen, taped between the pages of her Bible. When she pulled out the worn paper and held it up next to him, she thought she’d drawn his picture. Marrying him was the most natural thing she’d ever done.

The natural things were the things she tried to remember when he called her a tumbling fury of Very Bad Words, when maybe all she said was I don’t want to have that for supper or  I’m not ready to have people over or it’s too soon to have children. She never knew what might unleash the barrage of words she never really knew before she said I do. Through the haze of comment boxes that poured forth, obscuring his face, she tried to imagine the natural things, the secret smiles, the thrill of falling in love. Those comment boxes were pointy, though. They had gouging tips and sharp edges, could hack away pieces of her spirit until she recognized nothing but smoke and air, fog and mist, all things with no form, no surface, no shape of self to which to cling.

Sometimes, she thought it might be better if he just hit her. Shoving and screaming and driving the car really fast while pulling her hair didn’t seem to give him the release he craved. She locked herself in the bathroom, stared at herself in the mirror, made empty deals with herself. He said that was the last time. He promised not to do it again. Who are you? How did you ever wind up here?

A child was the ultimate weapon, the thing he knew would irrevocably control her, filaments that would snake from the tips of its fingers and toes. Those invisible fibers would wrap around her, consume her, while he watched from above, holding the wooden paddles attached to the strings. Succumbing would’ve been so easy, especially since she couldn’t remember all the little pieces of herself he’d already sheared away, scattered rubble that no longer fit together.

Guns and children. Children and guns. An explosive combination she recalled just in the knick of time. Tick. Tick. Tick…..

.  .  .  .

This is a work of fiction. The story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

This post is part of a series. If the catchy title brought you here today, please follow the link to this post and read forward. And, stick around. There’s more to come.


Uterus: Starts With U, Ends With Us

This post is part of a series. If the catchy title brought you here today, please follow the link to this post and read forward. And, stick around. There’s more to come.

The Secret Society of the Uterus: A Farce

The Cast of Characters:
I can’t WAIT to have something in my Uterus!
Look what I have in my Uterus RIGHT NOW!
You’ll never believe what just popped out of my Uterus!
You’re all rank amateurs. Let me tell you what’s walking and talking outside my Uterus!
Dear God, is it a sick, twisted joke that you even gave me a Uterus?

—–Curtain Rises——

Thanks for meeting me here today, everybody. I thought it might be fun to have lunch with you all because, well, I have an announcement. I……

OHMYGOD, my ovulation reminder just went off, and I’m ovulating RIGHT NOW, and I know you were just going to tell us about, um – something – but I ordered dude-in-my-life to meet me in the parking lot so we could have sex in the car AS SOON AS I GOT THIS REMINDER!

You know, if you try it upside-down, you have a better chance of conception. That’s what I did when I got the babe that just popped out of my Uterus. I think I spent so much time upside-down I staunched the blood flow to my head for, like, a couple of months. It makes my eye twitch. All the time. There. It’s doing it again. My eyeball. Do you see it?

Um, no. I don’t see anything………

What I can’t believe is that some geek can’t invent a gadget that can live stream the action that’s going on in my Uterus as we speak. I mean, look at this ultrasound shot. That profile. Doesn’t she look just like me? Right there? That nose? It’s mine, isn’t it?

Um, it all looks sort of, um, murky and….

She? Why would you find out what you’re having? I waited until the delivery room with all five of mine, and I’m so glad I did.

I’M STILL OVULATING OVER HERE!

Upside-down. It’s the only way I’m going to do it when I’m cleared to get busy. Hey, didn’t you just say something about having sex in a car in the parking lot? Which car?

Ow, the kid just kicked me in the bladder. Off to the bathroom. Again. The travails of those of us who have Something in our Uterus………

Thank God she’s gone. I mean, it’s only her first one. Wait ‘til the fifth. I can’t believe she is complaining about her need to pee. I’m not discounting your loss of blood to the head, Dear, but let ME tell you about my fourth pregnancy, the one where the kid almost ripped out my -

No, wait. I CANNOT hear about that right now. The trauma to my Uterus is all too recent. I almost died when they came in with that sharp -

I know exactly the thing you mean. When they put that on my -

Um, that sounds. Um, really bad. Um……great! Here’s our food! Let’s eat…..

I cannot believe how much water one body can make. Whew! So, really, why can’t some gadget guru build something that I can hook into my phone so that I can show everyone, everywhere, what’s going on in my Uterus? I bet I’d get thousands of hits a day on the internet. 

WAIT! Your live-streaming idea. I wonder if anyone would want to see the Actual Merging of Particles in my Uterus? I bet LOTS of people would like to see how THAT happens.

I’m sure they would. It’s called pornography.

THE CONCEPTION OF MY CHILD IS NOT PORNOGRAPHY!  YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND THE UTERUS! I’M LEAVING. RIGHT NOW! BECAUSE OHMYGOD I’M OVULATING!  (Storms off.)

Good riddance to her. She’ll never have five children if she keeps up the Drama Queen routine.

Potty break! (Exits)

Hey. Isn’t that her ovulation calculator there on the table? She might need that later. I think I’ll take it out to her.

I bet she’s not doing it upside-down…let’s go make sure! (They exit)

Um, so, about my announcement….

—-Curtain—-

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